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Convention Reviews

Sunday, June 5, 2016 - 09:34 by Bren

Day 2 of the UK Games Expo is done and dusted.  It was a little less manic for me than Day 1, I didn’t really leave the Hilton tournament rooms all day; but I still didn’t get home until gone 1am this morning.  Here are my highlights:

Settlers of Catan UK Championships - This was the big one, with twenty tables set aside for the tournament, and twenty fresh boxes of Catan ready to be opened.  I was first to get seated at my table, and so had the pleasure of preparing the pieces for the first game.  As with popping the seal on a fresh jar of coffee, or getting set loose on a pile of bubble wrap, there is a weird satisfaction that comes with pushing those cardboard game pieces free from their packaging.  To be...

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Saturday, June 4, 2016 - 00:47 by Bren

Well, Day 1 of the UK Games Expo is in the bag. I’m back home, utterly exhausted, but very very happy.  Here, in no particular order, are my highlights of Day 1, and games to keep an eye out for if you’re heading down over the weekend.

Wotan Games - Stopped by their table at the press previews this morning to check out War of the Nine Realms.  It’s a modular tile based, tactical skirmish style board game, set in the rich setting of norse mythology.  It uses cards rather than miniatures as markers, and is probably going to quickly become a gateway game to those wanting to explore miniature gaming.  The gameplay can be switched between Heroic and Epic, allowing for a basic combat/dominance game, or a more tactical game...

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - 12:00 by David

You know that sound?

That ‘gnnnhhh’ sound?

The one that you do in earshot of young children when you have just stepped on a piece of Lego and don't want to use profanity?

Well imagine the sound of dozens of adults having to crawl on hands and knees in a 20 foot square pit of Lego bricks some 6 inches deep. 

Many a profanity was uttered, which must help the makers of Denmark’s finest toy fulfill their remit of educating children through play. I would suggest they didn't really mean like that though.

This is Brick 2015 at the Birmingham NEC, a celebration of the world’s most prevalent toy.

Lego holds a special place in many a heart. As a child, a method of endless expression, building amazing creations that rival the greatest imaginings of...

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Monday, April 27, 2015 - 22:33 by Spindles

A university may seem an odd choice of a venue for a convention but, on reflection, it has all the necessary facilities that a convention requires. There are large lecture theatres and stages for guest interviews, sports halls for trader zones and signings, large outdoor spaces for attendees to show off their meticulously crafted costumes, and innumerable other spaces that can be re-purposed for photo ops, workshops and all manner of other activities. So, congratulations on the choice of venue. Truly inspired.

As for the offering at the convention itself, there was an impressive array of options to while away the day. I was particularly impressed by the gaming area. Stocked to the gills with pretty much every retro console you could wish for, and a vast selection of titles to...

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - 21:32 by Spindles

Having reached the tender age of 21, The Sci Fi Ball (formerly Starfleet Ball) has now left its hometown in Bournemouth and headed out towards pastures new. In this case, the pasture is that of The Grand Harbour hotel. The Grand Harbor is an impressive venue on the seafront of Southampton overlooking the ferry ports which, for this weekend, would serve as a haven for hundreds of Sci Fi, Fantasy and Comic fans.

Sylvester McCoy

Attendees of the SF Ball have the opportunity to spend the weekend immersing themselves in all manner of comics, games, talks, cabaret, discos, trailer screenings and much more. As well as taking part in Q&A sessions with the guests, attendees can also mingle, have photos taken, get autographs signed and even do The Time Warp on the dancefloor with the...

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Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 22:31 by Spindles

This past weekend saw the Raddisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow Conference Centre taken over by this year's NineWorlds Geekfest. Unlike most other UK conventions, NineWorlds is a multitrack residential convention that covers a ridiculous number of fandoms over the course of a weekend. There truly is something for everyone whether you're into Cosplay or Comics, Game of Thrones or Doctor Who, LARP or Board Games, Food or Knitting, Future Tech or Podcasting there are panels and activities for you.

One of the first things that strikes you about NineWorlds from the moment you arrive is exactly how hard they've worked to make people feel included and comfortable in their surroundings. The Communication Preference Clips are a fantastic idea that I'd love to see implemented at other...

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Monday, March 4, 2013 - 23:06 by Spindles

After a whole day in bed variously sleeping and hacking up chunks of lung, I'm almost feeling human enough to give a brief account of our weekend away at the Sci-Fi Weekender 4.

For those of you who have never heard of, or experienced it, the SFW takes over a holiday camp in North Wales for a weekend, fills it with around 4000 rabid sci-fi fans and puts on a show of authors, actors, musicians, comedians and much more for their entertainment. We had our first experience of it last year when a couple of our friends won tickets and invited us along. Despite the run-down Pontin's apartments, poisonous canteen and the 10 hour journey home due to our car breaking down in the Apocalyptic Blizzard of January 2012, we decided to go along again this year and take our daughter along with...

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